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Alumni Stories > Alumni Stories > Raushan's Sustainable Passion

Raushan's Sustainable Passion

Raushan (2014 cohort) Inspiring journey from student leader to sustainability advocate and PR Manager at Intour Maldives highlights the power of pursuing passions and making a difference.

It’s easy to be fenced in by the very university degree you worked hard to get, but Raushan Ali Firaq (2014 Cohort and PR & Marketing Manager of Intour Maldives) showed us that it’s important to focus on what you’re passionate about and apply that to every role you pursue. 

What’s your Tanglin story?

I joined Tanglin in 2009, when my family first moved from the Maldives to Singapore. After graduating in 2014, I completed a dual degree, a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations, and a Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management at the University of Queensland in Australia. Since moving back home to the Maldives in 2020, I have been working at Intour Maldives, a luxury travel company, as the PR and Marketing Manager. Recently, I have also taken on the role of Director at the newly founded Maldives Space Research Organisation (MSRO).

You used to be a House Captain at Tanglin, how did that role come about?

I was a bit quiet as a teenager, and I wanted to push myself to apply for more leadership roles. I had encouragement from my teachers to go for it, and that exposure further helped me pursue more leadership positions at university. This position and the confidence helped me run for positions in student-led councils and organisations during my time at university.


What was the most memorable part of your time at Tanglin?

Everything was overwhelming initially, going from a small school in an island city to a large school with a huge campus. The best part would be the library. I went to a school in the Maldives where we only had one library hour a week and a very limited collection of books. As an avid reader, I always had my nose in a book and was blown away by the fiction and non-fiction collection that I now had access to. I remember the librarians, especially Mrs Makselon, who was such a source of comfort and guidance when I was adjusting to a whole new environment. I was also a big fan of the lunchtime presentations where you could learn a lot from visiting speakers and alumni. I especially have fond memories of the school trips! It was eye-opening to be immersed in different experiences, and ways of life alongside your fellow students. I was incredibly grateful we had the opportunities to do this throughout our education. The Ladakh trip is particularly one I remember as life changing. The 3,500m above sea level trek was post-IB, yet it was one of the most physically and mentally challenging but rewarding experiences I have had. I loved going to Tanglin alongside my siblings, Rauha and Rakin. Being able to interact with them during their schooldays, even briefly, was so special. Especially as we belonged to the Infant, Junior, and Senior schools respectively, and rarely had overlapping schedules.


After graduating from university, you took on a few internships that are related to human rights. Why?

As cliché as this sounds, I’ve always wanted to make the world a better place. Through my International Relations degree, I was inspired to be an active part of the United Nations Student Association. My internships at UNFPA Maldives and UNDP Maldives really helped cement my passion to work in this sector after the completion of my studies. This experience paid off, as after graduating, I began a full-time role at UNDP Maldives as a Programme Associate. I would always recommend reaching out and applying to short-term internships during your holidays. It gave me a realistic experience of what day-to-day life was like in the UN System, and I was proud to be a part of helping my country work towards global goals. I enjoyed being a part of UNDP’s pandemic recovery efforts across the Maldivian community, which was heavily hit by the Covid-19 crisis. I will take the knowledge and lessons learned from these experiences with me everywhere I go. 


What inspired you to join the family business in travel and tourism?

There are currently a lot of changes going on in tourism. People want more genuine local experiences, they want to create memories with their loved ones, and travellers consider the environmental impact of their journeys now more than ever. Maldives is positioning itself as a Sustainable Destination, abundantly blessed with natural resources. In all my travels, I have yet to see beaches, reefs, and islands as breathtaking as the ones here and I’m glad millions of tourists a year seem to agree with me. I wanted to bring everything I’ve learned about sustainability and good practices to the luxury tourism industry, especially within a country so vulnerable to climate change such as the Maldives. There must be a balance between economically benefiting from tourism and protecting the future of our delicate ecosystem - I want to be a part of figuring it out. I am thrilled to get support from the team as we launched our first Sustainability Plan in 2023, the first Maldivian Travel Agency to do so. 


What do you do in your spare time?

I continue to be passionate about sustainability and projects that genuinely make an impact on communities and am thrilled to be working with the newly founded Maldives Space Research Organisation (MSRO) in my spare time. The NGO aims to integrate space technology into climate resiliency tools, using methods such as Earth Observation to benefit the Maldives. It was a chance encounter with one of the co-founders, Madin, in Paris during a work trip that led to me becoming a part of this NGO. This has led to being the manager of the first-ever Space for Island Nations Conference in 2023, which we are proud to be running again in 2024 with overwhelming support. From running around islands with a team of experts and a hyperspectral drone, attending numerous meetings and submitting proposals with government bodies, to being invited to attend regional UN workshops, it has been an incredible experience alongside extremely passionate individuals. 


Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful.

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Registration period : 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2029

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